Football fans reacted with a mixture of anger and resignation to the ban on the sale of beer outside World Cup stadiums today.
England fan Alex Todd, 25, of Solihull said: “This is madness. Why is the World Cup there when the basic pleasures are taken away from you?
“I expect it won’t go so well when most of the England fans are here.”
Brian Davidson, the first Qatar fan to drink an official World Cup beer, said: “I’m devastated, it just doesn’t make sense.” What’s wrong with drinking beer at a game? Anyway, the beer was not going to be sold inside the stadiums, just in the outside hall.
“Millions of people come from all over the world and just want to watch football, enjoy the sun and have a few beers. I will only have to go to the Fan Zones or to a hotel for a drink, but it’s really a shame that the Qataris have implemented this ban.
England fans in Doha Kevin Fulcher (left) and Kevin Hall (right) are unhappy with the ban on the sale of beer outside World Cup stadiums
German football fan Daniel Schwestka was also angry over the ban on beer outside World Cup stadiums in Qatar.
German fan Daniel Schwestka, 30, from Düsseldorf, said: “Football without beer is not football.”
He added: “I go to many matches, even in the German third leagues, and you can have a beer.
“It’s normal to drink beer in football and it’s the World Cup.
“When I arrived in Doha yesterday I had two bottles of whiskey, my luggage and they took it from me at the airport.
“I knew it was going to be difficult to drink here. But how can they ban beer in current stadiums. It’s ridiculous, yes.
Australian fans said Budweiser sponsors should resolve the issue before the tournament begins on Sunday.
IT consultant Simon Whiting, 50, from Canberra, said: ‘You need a cold beer in this heat. I’ve been looking for one since I’ve been here.
“They’re hard to find anyway, so I guess there won’t be any point in watching the games then.”
Australian fans Simon Whiting (left) and Steve Mifsud (right) have called on official Budweiser sponsors to resolve the issue before Sunday
Fans wait at the England team’s training base in Qatar, Al Wakra Sports Club, to get a glimpse of the players, pictured on November 15
Steve Mifsud, 39, from Sydney, said: ‘I’ve heard the beers are very expensive anyway, around AU$13 a pint.
“So maybe if there’s pain it’ll save us a few bucks, but you need beer in football.”
England fan Ryan Williams, who works as an engineer in Doha, smiled when asked about the beer ban.
“I have tickets for England games and that’s what really matters.
“Our employers told us not to say anything negative about the World Cup, so no comment to your beer question!”
Pictured: Argentina fans ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup on November 17
News of the beer ban, however, did not faze England fans who had traveled as part of a party from Nottingham.
Kevin Hall, 63, who has missed a home game in England since 1979, said: “I have absolutely no qualms about beer not being available in stadiums.”
It is the custom here. You have to accept it. We were told before coming here that alcohol was banned in much of the country so that won’t be a problem at all.
His friend Kevin Fulcher, 68, added: “We are here to see if England can win the World Cup.”
“It’s a Muslim country and we respect traditions and hope other England fans do the same.”